Monday, May 10, 2010

Ding Dong...the Drain is Gone!

Hooray!!!! As I drifted in and out of consciousness around 10 this morning, after yet another sleepless night (I'm all caught up on my back episodes of NCIS and NCIS-LA by the way), I heard the familiar "ding" of a text arriving on my phone. It was Dan, who was still at the hospital after spending the night with Cayden. He was letting me know that Amy, the surgical resident, called him this morning in Cayden's hospital room to tell him that all my tests came back more bile leak! She said I could come on in today and have the drain and surgical tubing removed from my side. Thank goodness!

By the time I was ready for Dan to pick me up, I realized I was pretty starving, even though I was up eating 3 times in the middle of the night. One of Kristi's friends had provided chicken enchiladas for dinner last night, so I decided I'd eat the last enchilada. I figured that would be sufficient, until I noticed that one of the plastic bottles of chocolate"Boost" Dan had bought the previous night to increase my calorie and protein intake was leaking. As I accidentally knocked another bottle out of the fridge (I know, graceful, huh?), I noticed that now both bottles were leaking and it would be impossible to save them based on where they were cracked. I guess I'd be eating an enchilada and downing 16 ounces of chocolate Boost. In hindsight, I wish I had just stuck with the drink, because the enchilada, though relatively unspicy, still didn't sit well with me. My stomach is still just not ready for many of the things that normally didn't used to bother me.

Interestingly, the minute we arrived at the hospital, it started to downpour. It figures I would be wearing my fuzzy slippers and soft socks this time instead of my flip flops. My feet were still so swelled up that I didn't want to expose them to the whole world.

I'm still only happy to ride in the wheelchair over to the liver clinic. We park at the children's hospital side, so it's quite the trek over to the liver clinic, which happens to be on the complete opposite end of Stanford. Since we didn't have an appointment, we ended up waiting about 20 minutes before the nurse was able to talk to Amy, the surgical resident, and verify what needed to be done. When she brought me back, I expressed my concern about pain and what to expect when pulling out the tubing. She assured me that it would be momentary and would feel more "strange" than painful. After snipping the couple of stitches that held the tubing in place she instructed me to take a deep breath and then let it out, so I did. Ugh...a very yucky feeling inside. I'm thinking to myself, "Sweet, I'm done. That was easy." Ha...little did I know. She told me to take another deep breath...Dear God, I was ready to start crying...she kept telling me to breathe in and out. All in all, I know it was quick, but to me it seemed like forever. She taped over the hole with gauze. I wondered about the hole. Would we need a stitch to close it up...nope, she told us, it'll seal itself. Wow. My other concern about the excess million pounds of water weight that kept working its way up and down my hips, legs, ankles and feet was addressed as well today. I started taking a medication called Lasix, which is supposed to help pull out the excess water from the tissues. It hasn't kicked in yet, but I'll keep you posted!

On the way back to the Lucile Packard Hospital side, we stopped by Cayden's room for a visit. I was so happy to see him, especially since I had to forgo a visit yesterday. He looked great today! No major pain, and as we visited, he ate a couple pieces of his chicken quesadilla and french fry lunch. Dan says he had a really good breakfast, too. Yay for eating! Lynn, one of Cayden's doctors, popped in while we were there and remarked that Cayden's liver was doing beautifully. They're ready to get him home, and I think he's starting to get bored at the hospital. It'll be nice for him to get back to some school work, as the Palo Alto district actually finishes much sooner than our district does. Their last day is June 10th!

I've felt pretty good the rest of the day. The doctors have encouraged me to consciously stand up as straight as I can right now so my incision doesn't heal so that I look like a hunchback! I'm hoping for a nice day tomorrow and less swelling in my feet. I may throw on my sneakers and walk up the street if I can manage! Thanks to everyone for their continued prayers and positive messages. I so miss everyone from home!

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